Blackridge

A Short Story by Derek McMillan

Blackridge is a Sunset home on the South Coast, I have lived here
for…a long time.

The housekeeper, Ilka, is a saint.  How she puts up with the other
residents is a mystery.

I spend my time in my room away from the others.

Ilka called me in to breakfast. I sit with Richard and Harry. Other
residents call us “The Three Stooges” .

Ilka put a boiled egg in front of Rich.

“What is this?” he asked.

“An egg,” she replied.

Rich continued to look at it with a puzzled expression.

Ilka cut the top off.

“You’ve ruined it now,” said Rich. He looked at the spoon.

Ilka put the spoon in the egg.

Rich made a mess of it.

The next day, Ilka called me in to breakfast. She reminded me to put
trousers on.

I share a table with two other residents. Some of the women call us “The
Three…” something.

It was one of the others, who looked askance at his knife and fork.
After a while he threw the knife across the dining room. It startled
Persephone the cat who was relaxing on the window ledge.

Ilka brought a clean knife and cut up his food. He made a bit of a mess
of it.

“What day is it?” he asked a few times.

All days are the same at Blackridge.

The next morning there was a strange woman knocking at my door.

“Who the devil are you?” I asked.

“Ilka,” she said patiently.